Posted in Fellow Authors, News and Appearances

Attention all LGBTQ authors out there….

ATTENTION LGBTQ AUTHORS

It sickens me that a pizza place that discriminates against gay couples can actually have money raised for it the way it has. Really ? I understand people have choices but when it comes to actively discriminating against a certain part of the human race, I have a teensy bit of an issue, right or wrong. Call me human. That’s probably not very PC but then that’s something I – am – not

smiley face

Anyway some of us have decided to fight back and join fellow authors in trying to reverse the trend.This is something that’s happening at the moment….via Kate Aaron and others. There’s no pressure but I thought I’d bring it to every LGBTQ authors attention as in this they do have a choice – to participate or not, completely as they wish.

Beep Beep-message begins

In the wake of the passing of the Indiana Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, a fundraiser set up to support a family who think it’s their “right” to refuse service to LGBT customers has raised almost $1 million.
Unfortunately, a pro-LGBT counter-fundraiser hasn’t got nearly the same traction. It’s one thing to tweet our outrage, or share a link on Facebook to an article. It’s another matter entirely to put our money where our mouths are.
Some of us are gathering up all the authors we know who write about love in whatever form it takes to take a stand as a collective community. Together we can reach hundreds if not thousands of readers, and we’d like to offer them the chance to win an ebook if they donate $5 to a deserving LGBT charity or share charity links across their social networks.

can you help

THE REQUEST TO AUTHORS

Can you spare a copy of an ebook (reader’s choice works best, but we know some authors have publisher restrictions) for a worthy winner as incentive for them to donate? We need to hear back by Saturday, April 11th, for a blog post going up on 18th April at

http://diversereader.blogspot.com

announcing the giveaway and the reason behind the fundraiser.
The day of the post, all we ask is that you share the link on your various social media to alert your fans of the opportunity, and when the deadline for the giveaway passes, we’ll email you the name of your winner and their email so you can contact them about their prize. It’s easy, hosted in one place for readers to follow and enter, and will show that we mean business.

many-thanks

LGBT people aren’t going anywhere, and our allies have loud voices. Let’s use them.

Beep Beep- message ends.

Diverse Reader
diversereader.blogspot.com

Posted in News and Appearances

Being worth it

The other day these few little words landed in my Facebook Messenger inbox and they were music to my ears.

Just threw away my razor

razor

Now, these words will mean nothing to you unless you know the story behind them. I have found that writing books has brought me into contact with some of most diverse, beautiful, funny and amazing people ever. Old, young, quirky, staid, unusual, comedic and in some cases, downright scary. I have to say I love it all. The people that I find the most rewarding to chat to though are the ones who share things with me that I feel privileged to be part of and humbled that they choose to tell me things and trust me to keep a secret. The young man who wrote those words, let’s call him DA (and he’ll know why), is one of them.

DA lives in North Carolina in the US. He’s in his early twenties, gay and Christian. He comes from a conservative, religious family, attends a conservative University, and faces challenges that perhaps are ones facing other young people but that to him are very personal and unique to his situation. He’s very intelligent, a high achiever scholastically, and from what I know about him (as we’ve never met) he’s a man with a good head on his shoulders and a vision for himself as to where he wants to be in life.

John Stewart

He also self-harmed (I’m using the past tense because when he reads this post, I want him to know how much confidence I have in him keeping his promise to me not to) finding that somehow, that helped him cope. Being gay, a Christian and sometimes not being able to reconcile the two, taking pressure from his peers at school, his family, about his lifestyle and his sexual proclivity, one he didn’t choose but was born with- those are all tough things to live with. He also has bpd- borderline personality disorder, so he suffers from chronic insecurity and low self-worth.  So he has a lot of demons to face.

Gay Christian

We met via a special Facebook group and he was recommended my books by a friend of mine. He read Double Alchemy one and two (yes, there’s the DA reference ), started messaging me about parts of the books, character motivations and had a fascination with the ins and outs of Withinners and magick. And so an online friendship was born out of a story that I wrote and that he loved. If that isn’t enough validation for a writer to feel that she’s making a difference somewhere in someone’s life, then I don’t know what is.

This post is really about two things. One, the ability of stories to bring people together over long distances and make what I hope are long lasting virtual, and hopefully one day face to face, friendships.

Virtual friends 1The other is to validate this young man’s presence in my life and that of others around him and tell them that they are worth every minute. I was never more proud of him than when he sent me that little message. My family thought I was crazy, enthusing about the courage of someone I didn’t even know. (I’m sure we all face that somewhere in our relationships when the online friends we have become so meaningful to us and others perhaps can’t understand it.) But it’s real. It means something to us.

It can be destructive; we all know this and it’s an area we have to be extremely careful in. People have been hurt this way and it’s a never ending battle to keep the traitorous wolves from the door, and from snapping their jaws and tearing our flesh into shreds. But you have to continue taking those leaps of faith. As long as you do your homework and do your best to confirm the person’s existence, and safeguard your feelings and emotions, you should be fine.

This morning DA messaged me, really excited, because he’s found another young man who really likes him and took him out for a romantic dinner and gave him his favourite chocolates. It is early days but it’s a wonderful, positive start and I am so happy for him. Especially when DA says that he believes he’s not worth it and thinks no one can love him. Someone has just proven him wrong.

Chocs

So, to my wonderful DA; I have this to say to you. (Forgive me for all my book title references but I thought they worked in this instance –and actually I don’t care if they sound a bit cheesy J)

You stripped yourself bare, and made a start to saving yourself. You, my friend, are definitely worth keeping and anyone should be honoured to love you senseless. The magic of self-belief and self-validation is a powerful tool and should be used in buckets.

And to all the other people out there suffering from the same insecurities and fears – the same applies to you. Every human being in the world deserves love and happiness and is worth every effort to get them there. Believe in yourself and that you are someone unique and that is the battle half won. You have the right to exist and live as you are, regardless of colour, sexual preference, gender, religion or beliefs and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Of course there are some basic human decencies attached to this- the biggest one being my own personal mantra and the old Wiccan rede, ‘And it harm none, do as ye will’.

rede

Taking beliefs and religions to the extreme and condemning and hurting others is so not cool. ‘Nuff said, as once I get on this soapbox, I won’t come down without a fight. Or a strait jacket.

We cannot let the bigots, zealots and small minded people win the battles that may be fought within ourselves and in society as a whole.

YOU ARE ALL SPECIAL AND YOU MATTER, BOTH TO YOURSELVES AND TO OTHER PEOPLE.

Tattoo this fact on your foreheads (I’m speaking metaphorically so don’t rush out and give the tattoo parlours too much business!) so every time you see it, you’ll remember that you deserve everything that is good and fulfilling in life –you deserve to love and be loved.

And on a final note…

Virtual friends

Posted in News and Appearances

Gay rights in Russia and the Winter Olympics

Men in loveViolent attacks on lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in Russia are sky-rocketing. And they’re being fuelled by a new law that make it a crime to be open about who you are and who you love.

In less than 100 days, all eyes will be on Russia for their Winter Olympics. But behind the excitement and sporting drama will be thousands of people hiding and living in fear.

But what if instead of facing the handful of people in Russia brave enough to stand up to terrifying violence and state power, the Russian government faced a movement of millions around the world?

The Olympic games are our best chance to end to Russia’s outrageous anti-gay laws – but to do it, it’s going to take lots more of us to speak out about what’s happening in Russia right now.

Watch this beautiful 2-minute video, and then sign the petition: https://www.allout.org/Olympics

Thank you for going All Out.

Andre, Guillaume, Jeremy, Leandro Tile, and the rest of the All Out team.

PS: If the Russian government attacks LGBT people and there is no response from around the world, leaders in smaller, less powerful countries might think it’s safe to copy them. And things could get worse for many more people around the world. So if you haven’t already, please sign the petition here: https://www.allout.org/Olympics

Posted in Future Works

Cover Reveal – ‘Saving Alexander’- release date October 2nd

I have a new book coming out in October, my second M/M Romance and one I’ve been working on for a while. It’s with my editor at the moment but I’m happy I can show you the beautiful cover for this book and share a little bit about what this story is about. It’s been an education writing this and I’ve learn more about S and M practices and the human psyche that I ever thought I needed to know. I was also very fortunate in having a lovely lady in Dallas, Texas, her name is Elizabeth Cummings, guiding me on some of Alex’s emotional development and of course, on Sage’s too as he learns to live with the fact that he isn’t the only man in Alex’s life. And yes, Alex does have two different colour eyes. It’s a condition called Heterochromia Iridum. I have a mixed breed collie who has the same trait.

Saving Alexander

Punishing himself for a horrific past that is not his fault, bestselling author Alexander Montgomery seeks redemption and love—and perhaps he will find it.
Famous author though he may be, Alexander Montgomery is not someone you take home to meet Mother. Seriously flawed, damaged by a horrific past, he’s trying hard to claw his way back to normality. But how can anyone respect what he truly is? His therapy involves regular sessions at Study in Scarlet, an exclusive S&M club.
Then comes Sage. Tall, with black hair and blue eyes, an up-and-coming actor with impossible charm and boy-next-door good looks, he’s the perfect choice to play the leading man in a TV adaptation of Alex’s last best-seller. Even more, he is a man you introduce to your family. Which Alex would do—if he weren’t taken by another man who offers the punishments Alex prays will wipe away the past and make him the person he wants to be. Yet, perhaps there is another path to redemption. If only the solution would reach out and touch him.

***********************************************************************************
For a little bit of fun…

PS This is a picture of my dog Blu with his different colour eyes -one blue, one brown. This was taken in my lounge and Piglet is his favourite toy.He’s wet because he’s been playing in the garden while my husband waters it -and the dog.

My dog Blu

Posted in Future Works

Cover Reveal for ‘Stripped Bare’

The cover for my new M/M Romance due out 22nd July 2013.
The cover for my new M/M Romance due out 22nd July 2013.

Though two years past, Matthew Langer is still getting over the death of a loved one. He’s steered clear of serious relationships, but when he meets the irascible, dirty mouthed and tempestuous Shane Templar that decision has never been harder. Shane is sexy, warm and funny, and Matthew finds himself trying like hell not to care about him. Especially when Shane, with his quick wit and hacking skills, is quick to stand up for justice and avenge wrongs. Then Shane strikes at the wrong target, and Matthew realises just how far gone he already is. At the threat of losing for good yet another man who’s broken through his armour, Matthew finds his heart stripped bare. He must face the demons of his soul or a future without love.

Posted in News and Appearances

DOMA

Great post by Rich Paschall with a few home truths for the people who quote the Bible at every turn in defence of their narrow minded views.

rjptalk

Defense Of gay Marriage, Actually

More than a few of my friends may be clutching their hearts and falling over, actually.  I did not mean to lead you down the road to heart attack.  An issue that does not impact your life one bit should not worry you so much.  I know you did not expect me to be so blunt in my approach, but I have given it a bit of thought.  This even surprises me, because the issue does not affect my life.  There are no male suitors, to be sure, and while Brad Pitt and a million bucks up front might be tempting, I seriously believe I am not walking down that aisle.  So why would I change my position when I have generally been indifferent to the whole matter in the past?

The legislature of the Great Bankrupt State of Illinois has adjourned without taking a vote…

View original post 827 more words

Posted in News and Appearances

The Romance of Men

This is a beautifully uplifting video about the romance of men loving men. Wonderful images, superb and evocative music, inspiring narration and above all, true honesty in assuring us that love is love no matter what.

I’d like to thank David Maddux for his lovely rendition of what it means to be in love. Poetry in motion just got even more beautiful.

Posted in Future Works, News and Appearances

Oh how the world turns…

shutterstock_54147079

I think I’ve said this before but I’m going to bore you and say it again. I love my new role as a writer/published author/scribe/wordsmith/woman of letters….Whichever way you look at it, it has changed my life to the point where I meet the most interesting, supportive, funny and downright irreverent characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. And now that I have ‘branched out’ into writing stories about the world of the gay male romance relationship, it’s just got better. I do talk about things in this post that may offend sensitive viewers, so feel free to look away now. This specific genre group of writers is incredible. In the words of the ladies in that wonderful British sitcom, they are ‘Absolutely Fabulous’. Eddy and Patsy would be so enamoured with this lot.

You can read more about Ab Fab here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105929/ if you’re interested. It’s a classic if you like neurotic, sarcastic, chain smoking, drug popping and hard drinking women with attitude. And let’s face it, who doesn’t…

Anyway I digress. Back to this group of writers who have given me such pleasure over the past few months. Not the pleasure your dirty mind is thinking of, although …hmm, I guess there is an element of that when you’re reading hot, loving, gay man sex scenes…
Despite me being a newbie to the scene (in every way really, both writing and in this genre- my first book was only published August last year and my first M/M romance will be due out soon) they have taken me into the proverbial fold, offered me support and encouragement, some jaw dropping moments, an education beyond compare in the ‘ins and outs’ of writing this type of story and a lot of entertainment.

Like my beta reader for ‘Stripped Bare’ (a well-known author and gay man himself sense checking some of my scenes) coming up to me and saying ‘Sue, page 14 – honestly, cum doesn’t dry or travel that far.” Ahh. That’s telling me isn’t it. Right, I might have to revisit that bit. The realistic drying and distance of travelling cum needs to be addressed. (I have to say I think he said this for maximum impact when there were other people around who may not have known what we were talking about. He can be such a tease that way. I shudder to think what they thought but they were too polite to say anything if so.) And I have a feeling there will be more little gems of wisdom from my mentor before he’s through with me.

BTW which is the one more in use- cum or come? is this perhaps a US versus British spelling variation? Thoughts please…

There was the debate on whether a tongue stud will affect a blow job and if so, in what way? Good, bad? Anyone tried it, have an opinion? Of course they do. I am now enlightened up and beyond the call of duty on the effect of a tongue piercing on a man’s penis. There was also the whole online discussion about solo shower masturbation and whether men used this as their happy time to relieve themselves. That garnered quite a few responses.

Then there’s my personal favourite, another fellow author, also a gay man, who offered to ‘test drive ‘my sex scenes with his boyfriend so that my research could be validated. Whether it actually happened or not I have no idea but this man and his partner deserve a commendation for their commitment to duty. If there’s an Oscar out there for this, someone let me know. Maybe we should think of a name for it. Feel free to give me your suggestions. Not too rude please. It might have to be mentioned on national TV.

The wonderfully named Gayology101 forum on Goodreads is a complete eye opener and I thank the stars we have actual gay men and women answering questions that we straight women pose on their sexual activity. It gets a little raw in there I can tell you, but nothing we writers can’t handle in the name of ‘research’.

I mean, honestly, where else could one talk about these sorts of things without feeling like a pervert? And believe me, getting it right is extremely important. There’s nothing worse in my eyes that the research not being done properly and ticking someone off when they’re reading a book because it’s so blatantly wrong or unrealistic. You may not get it all right, and others may disagree with your take on some things but at least you tried like hell to do it right in the beginning.

Of course, all of the above applies to heterosexual sex as well, but I have a far better idea how that works, being an active participant myself. But when you’re writing about something you’ve never physically experienced or done (note I don’t say never visually experienced and I shall leave you all to ponder on the relevance of that statement) you need help to make it work. So befriending these authors, most of whom are more experienced in writing in this genre than I am, who have already run the gauntlet and had their men have mind blowing sex with each other, was a privilege and an honour. Discussing things in forums which may seem a little ‘out there’ was an education. Reading their books and finding out how they tackled the subject matter was enlightening and rewarding and most pleasurable. I doff my hat to them all.

All in all, I am enjoying this phase I’m going through and have every intention of continuing it. After all, David Sarnoff, businessman and pioneer of American radio and television, said:
‘Whatever course you have chosen for yourself, it will not be a chore but an adventure if you bring to it a sense of the glory of striving.’
Well, I am definitely striving…..so the path ahead can only be a LOT of fun.